In one of the best games of the 2015 season a triumphant Port Adelaide have registered a first victory of the campaign away to a resilient North Melbourne, with the game ending Power 17.11.113 to Kangaroos 16.9.105.
Port Adelaide made a strong start to the match, accumulating the majority of possessions and North Melbourne could consider themselves lucky to be only nine points down at the first break. This well executed shot for goal from Brad Ebert ensured that the Power would take the ascendancy into the second term.
All the play early in the match pointed towards a hard slog, but that quickly changed with North Melbourne beginning to find their goalscoring groove. However, the visitors responded through nimble midfielder Matt White (see below) to restore a seven-point lead for the Power.
Moments later, and the margin was under a goal again when the Kangaroos’ best player of the first half Sam Gibson kicked truly. On the balance of proceedings it looked as if the two teams would be neck and neck all night, but for a stirring three-goal surge from the away side.
Jasper Pittard spoilt a contest and followed up to complete a sweeping move for the Power and ensure that his side would take a handy 20-point lead into the half-time break.
After the break both teams traded blows with majors each within the first two minutes of play, but it was the home team who begin to dominate proceedings.
Power forward Drew Petrie was rewarded for his hard running with a mark and goal (see below), then set shot goals from Robin Nahas and a 60-metre bomb from Ben Brown cut the deficit back to just two points.
The stadium was rocking and when Robbie Tarrant slotted this fine effort on the run from 45 metres out, the home team hit the front for the first time in the entire match.
All the momentum was with the Kangaroos who were playing inspired football, only for their opponents to respond in gritty fashion with two well worked goals. Matt White capped off a brilliant countering-attacking goal through sheer pace to help guide his team to a precious eight-point advantage heading into an eagerly anticipated final term.
In a frenetic opening 10 minutes to the last quarter both teams cancelled each other out with some terrific transition football. Matthew Broadbent, who was Power’s best player on the night, kicked a sublime long set shot goal (see below) only to be pegged back immediately by a telling goal from Petrie.
Lindsay Thomas had a fine game, and when he kicked two quick-fire goals North Melbourne had a four-point advantage with six minutes remaining.
In a see-sawing contest a clever goal from Aaron Young and this pressure set shot from Kane Mitchell would seal Port Adelaide’s first victory of the season.
Next week Port Adelaide face a stern test at home to Hawthorn Hawks on Saturday night, while for North Melbourne a short trip to face Geelong will present a difficult assignment.